Since I have a blog and am a bit active on Twitter, sometimes people ask me for advice. They think, ‘Oh that Californian Mum, she sure knows a lot about being a mum and a wife, I bet she has many pearls of wisdom to dispense’.* So when I received this email from a reader, I thought I would share:
Dear Californian Mum in London,
I love your blog, especially the advice on parenting for partners. My husband, George, is a wonderful father to our daughter Judy, but he is not very good at helping out around the house. I am a SAHM because I want to look after our daughter, not because I want to clean and tidy all day. Can you please tell me how to get him to do his share of housework without me having to nag him?
I feel your pain sista’. My Husband wouldn’t notice if there was mould growing on his side of the bed. And if there are toys on the floor, he just walks over them or kicks them to the side. So here are some tips that will hopefully help your partner join in with the housework.
1. The house shouldn’t always be tidy. How will your partner know that you need help if you kill yourself cleaning/tidying every day?
2. What’s nagging? A term that men have come up with to make us feel bad for having good memories? I don’t nag. I remind.
3. Communicate. Does your partner know how you feel? I don’t mean when you scream ‘pick up your damn pants off the floor you ass clown!’. But tell him, calmly, one evening over a
bottle glass of wine that you would prefer it if he takes a more active role in the housework.
4. Yes, you are a SAHM to be at home with your daughter, but you should do a few things around the house too. Come on, get off the sofa, stop watching Jeremy Kyle and start mopping. But really, don’t just vaguely tell him to help. Men need guidance. Maybe your partner could be in charge of one thing – perhaps dishes or cooking?
If all else fails, hide the crisps and lager and then see how quick he starts doing the dishes.
*No one has ever thought this! No one asks me for advice. Ever. I am delusional.